I Will Survive winner: Mike Snell
I Will Survive winner: Mike Snell

Mike one step closer to being Australia's next leading man

MIKE Snell hopes to follow the footsteps of Hugh Jackman after taking out the grand prize on I Will Survive tonight.

The 29-year-old won the Channel 10 talent show after impressing judges Jason Donovan and Stephan Elliott and guest judge Paula Abdul with his final Broadway performance.

The Melbourne performer just scraped through to the final after landing in the bottom two in last week's Las Vegas challenge.

"There was no way I was going home one stop before New York," he said.

Snell said his motivation on the show was inspired by his time working alongside Jackman in The Boy From Oz.

 "I saw the way he worked and I took that into I Will Survive," he said.

"Every day I was practicing. I was in work mode the whole time.

"I took that work ethic that Hugh worked with and now it's paid off. Now I'm signed with his agent. I only wish to have his type of success."

The triple threat is already busy treading the boards in Australia's new hit musical, Legally Blonde.

Snell plays Kyle, better known as the UPS Man, who is a bit of eye candy for salon owner Paulette.

It's a welcomed change from the sky-high stilettos and fishnet stockings he wore in his drag performances on I Will Survive.

"I am loving it," he said.

"I have given up the heels for a nice pair of chunky boots and I feel like I'm a man again."

But keeping his win a secret from his Legally Blonde co-stars has been a challenge for Snell.

"A lot of people at work have been coming up to me saying 'you won didn't you' and I go 'no I just can't talk about it sorry'," he said.

"I try to keep a straight face, but my face gives away exactly what I'm thinking."

Snell plans to gain a bit more experience before going over to the US to try and make it on Broadway.

"I've enrolled in a 10-week camera to acting course, as well as singing courses and professional dance classes," he said.

"I was already at a place where I was moving up the ladder a little bit, but wining this competition has inspired me to push really hard and show Australia that I am the next leading man that Channel 10 and the judges believed me to be."

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